Homemade Pizza Crust for Beginners

This easy pizza dough recipe is great for beginners and produces a soft homemade pizza crust. Skip the pizza delivery because you only need 6 basic ingredients to begin!

Homemade pizza crust

This is my go-to pizza dough recipe. It was published on my blog 6 years ago and after making it for the millionth time, I decided it’s time for an update with a video tutorial and clearer recipe instructions. Plus, many of you said you want to conquer your fear of yeast this year! Consider this your starting guide and refer back to it often.

(And if you’ve ever made homemade bagels or sandwich bread, you can easily make pizza dough because it’s quicker, easier, and requires less steps!)

Pizza dough is the foundation and every great pizza begins with a great pizza crust. Some like thin and crisp pizza crust, while others prefer thick and soft pizza crust. This homemade pizza crust has it all: soft & chewy with a delicious crisp and AWESOME flavor.

Baking with Yeast Guide

Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.

Homemade pizza dough

Why waste the time when you can just buy frozen pizza dough? Frozen pizza dough is certainly convenient, but from-scratch crust has a delicious flavor and texture that only comes from homemade. Plus, most of the work is hands-off!

Homemade Pizza Dough Ingredients

All pizza dough starts with the same basic ingredients: flour, yeast, water, salt, and olive oil. Here’s the breakdown of what I use in my homemade pizza crust recipe.

  1. Yeast: I use Red Star Platinum yeast. I have the best results when I use this instant yeast. The Platinum yeast is fantastic because its careful formula strengthens your dough and makes making working with yeast simple. You only need 1 standard packet of yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons) to get the job done.
  2. Water: I tested this pizza dough recipe with different amounts of water. 1 and 1/3 cups is the perfect amount. Use warm water to cut down on rise time, about 100-110°F. Anything over 130ºF kills the yeast.
  3. Flour: Use unbleached all-purpose white flour in this recipe. Bleaching the flour strips away some of the protein, which will affect how much water the flour absorbs. You can substitute bread flour for a chewier pizza crust, but add a couple extra Tablespoons of water since bread flour contains more protein than all-purpose flour.
  4. Oil: A couple Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil adds wonderful flavor to the dough. Don’t forget to brush the dough with olive oil before adding the toppings, which prevents the crust from tasting soggy.
  5. Salt: Salt adds necessary flavor.
  6. Sugar: 1 Tablespoon of sugar increases the yeast’s activity and tenderizes the dough, especially when paired with a little olive oil.
  7. Cornmeal: Cornmeal isn’t in the dough, but it’s used to dust the pizza pan. Cornmeal gives the pizza crust a little extra flavor and crisp. Most delivery pizzas you enjoy have cornmeal on the bottom crust!

Homemade pizza dough on counter

This is a Lean Bread Dough

Pizza crust, like homemade bagels, artisan bread, and focaccia, requires a lean dough. A lean dough doesn’t use eggs or butter. Without the extra fat to make the dough soft, you’re promised a crusty pizza crust. (However, I recommend using some olive oil for flavor and to keep the interior on the softer side.) Recipes like dinner rolls and overnight cinnamon rolls require fat to yield a “rich dough,” which creates a softer and more dessert-like bread.

Pizza dough with toppings

How to Make Easy Pizza Dough (for bread beginners!)

Watch my pizza dough video tutorial below. It’s really that easy!

  1. Mix the dough ingredients together by hand or use a hand-held or stand mixer.
  2. Knead by hand or beat the dough with your mixer. I like doing this by hand and you can watch me in the video.
  3. Place dough into a greased mixing bowl, cover tightly, and set aside to rise for about 90 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.
  4. Punch down risen dough to release air bubbles. Divide in 2.
  5. Roll dough out into a 12-inch circle. Cover and rest as you prep the pizza toppings.
  6. Top with favorite pizza toppings.
  7. Bake pizza at a very high temperature for only about 15 minutes.

Little bakers can lend a hand AND have fun in the process. Let the kids help you press down the dough and shape into a circle. They can add their cheeses and make pepperoni faces on top of the pie. Who doesn’t love a smiley pizza? 🙂

Video Tutorial

How to Freeze Homemade Pizza Dough

This recipe yields two 12-inch pizzas. After the pizza dough rises and you divide the dough in half (step 5), you can freeze one of the balls of dough to make pizza at a later time. Or you can simply freeze both balls of dough separately. Lightly coat all sides of the dough ball(s) with nonstick spray or olive oil. Place the dough ball(s) into individual zipped-top bag(s) and seal tightly, squeezing out all the air. Freeze for up to 3 months.

How to Thaw Frozen Pizza Dough

Place the frozen pizza dough in the refrigerator for about 8 hours or overnight. When ready to make pizza, remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to rest for 30 minutes on the counter. Continue with step 5 in the recipe below.

Homemade pepperoni cheese pizza

Recipes Using Pizza Dough

Here’s my flatbread pizza crust recipe and whole wheat pizza dough recipe.

PS: If you’ve already tried my pizza dough recipe before, let me know what you think!

Homemade pizza dough

Homemade Pizza Crust

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 12-inch pizzas
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Follow these basic instructions for a thick, crisp, and chewy pizza crust at home. The recipe yields enough pizza dough for two 12-inch pizzas and you can freeze half of the dough for later.


  • 1 and 1/3 cups (320ml) warm water (between 100-110°F, 38-43°C)
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons Red Star Platinum instant yeast (1 standard packet)*
  • 1 Tablespoon (13g) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 and 1/2 cups (440g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for hands and surface
  • sprinkle of cornmeal for dusting the pan


  1. Prepare the dough: Whisk the warm water, yeast, and granulated sugar together in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or paddle attachment. Cover and allow to rest for 5 minutes. *If you don’t have a stand mixer, simply use a large mixing bowl and mix the dough by hand with a wooden spoon in the next step.*
  2. Add the olive oil, salt, and flour. Beat on low speed for 2 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. With lightly floured hands, knead the dough for 3-4 minutes (for a visual, watch me do it in the video above!). The dough can be a little too heavy for a mixer to knead it, but you can certainly use the mixer on low speed instead. After kneading, the dough should still feel a little soft. Poke it with your finger – if it slowly bounces back, your dough is ready to rise. If not, keep kneading.
  3. Lightly grease a large bowl with oil or nonstick spray– just use the same bowl you used for the dough. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 60-90 minutes or until double in size. (Tip: For the warm environment on a particularly cold day, heat your oven to 150°F (66°C). Turn the oven off, place the dough inside, and keep the door slightly ajar. This will be a warm environment for your dough to rise. After about 30 minutes, close the oven door to trap the air inside with the rising dough. When it’s doubled in size, remove from the oven.)
  4. Preheat oven to 475°F (246°C). Allow it to heat for at least 15-20 minutes as you shape the pizza. Lightly grease baking sheet or pizza pan with nonstick spray or olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with cornmeal, which gives the crust extra crunch and flavor. Highly recommended.
  5. Shape the dough: When the dough is ready, punch it down to release any air bubbles. Divide the dough in half. (If not making 2 pizzas, freeze half of the dough for another time– see freezing instructions below.) On a lightly floured work surface using lightly floured hands or rolling pin, gently flatten the dough into a disc. Place on prepared pan and, using lightly floured hands, stretch and flatten the disc into a 12-inch circle. Lift the edge of the dough up to create a lip around the edges. I simply pinch the edges up to create the rim. If using a pizza stone, place the dough directly on baker’s peels dusted with cornmeal.
  6. Cover dough lightly with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and allow to rest for a few minutes as you prepare your pizza toppings. I suggest pepperoni & green peppers or jalapeño slices, extra cheese pizzaHawaiian pizzaclassic margherita pizzaspinach artichoke white pizza, or homemade BBQ chicken pizza.
  7. Top & bake the pizza: To prevent the filling from making your pizza crust soggy, brush the top lightly with olive oil. Using your fingers, push dents into the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling. Top with your favorite toppings and bake for 12-15 minutes.
  8. Slice hot pizza and serve immediately. Cover leftover pizza tightly and store in the refrigerator. Reheat as you prefer. Baked pizza slices can be frozen up to 3 months.


  1. Freezing Instructions: This recipe yields two 12-inch pizzas. After the pizza dough rises and you divide the dough in half (step 5), you can freeze one of the balls of dough to make pizza at a later time. Or you can simply freeze both balls of dough separately. Lightly coat all sides of the dough ball(s) with nonstick spray or olive oil. Place the dough ball(s) into individual zipped-top bag(s) and seal tightly, squeezing out all the air. Freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, place the frozen pizza dough in the refrigerator for about 8 hours or overnight. When ready to make pizza, remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to rest for 30 minutes on the counter. Continue with step 5.
  2. Overnight/All Day Instructions: Prepare the dough through step 3, but allow the dough to rise for 8-12 hours in the refrigerator. (If it needs to be in the refrigerator for longer, use cooler water in the dough which will slow the dough’s rise and allow for more time.) The slow rise gives the pizza dough wonderful flavor! When ready, continue with step 5. If the dough didn’t quite double in size overnight, let it sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes before punching down (step 5).
  3. Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand MixerDough ScraperPizza PanPizza Cutter
  4. Yeast: Red Star Platinum yeast is an instant yeast. You can use active dry yeast instead. The rise time will be up to 2 hours. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
  5. Pictured Pizza: This recipe yields 2 pizzas. For each, top with 1/2 cup pizza sauce, 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, pepperoni slices, thinly sliced green pepper or jalapeño, and a sprinkle of Italian seasoning blend or dried basil.

Recipe originally published on Sally’s Baking Addiction in 2013

Keywords: pizza, pizza dough, pizza crust

Homemade pizza crust


  1. This was such an easy and delicious dough!

  2. I love making (and eating!) pizza and this is my go to recipe. Easy and delicious!

  3. Can you make this with a regular mixer if I have 2 hooks on it?

  4. Never in my entire life have i ever made dough and I made this recipe. Never will I buy a Premade pizza crust again. It might take a little time to prep. But the results are amazing. This will make a soft yet nice cripsy crust on the edges. It rises quite a bit, so this isn’t a thin crust recipe. Next time I’m going to be creative with the crust edge and add some garlic butter and parmesan cheese.

  5. This is a perfect recipe! Thank you so much for sharing it!!!!

  6. That amount of time is pushing it, but the dough should be fine in the refrigerator until 4:30 the next day– make sure it’s covered tightly.

  7. My crust came out perfect! Put on the bottom oven rack to get nice and crispy.

    1. Hi Sally, .
      Will it be OK to half this recipe and just make one pizza? Will it still work as I don’t like to freeze the dough.


  8. Hello Sally,
    I would like to make this recipe with fresh yeast. How much grams of that would you recommend?

    1. Hi Monika, I don’t use fresh yeast because it’s much more difficult to find in stores here, but this is a very helpful conversion chart: https://redstaryeast.com/yeast-baking-lessons/yeast-conversion-table/

      1. Thank you very much for your help Sally.

  9. Baking beginner here…I’ve tried this dough a couple times and it always comes out wet (which leads to soggy, undercooked pizza when I cook it). What caused this? How do I fix it? Thx!

    1. Try adding just a touch more flour next time until the dough comes together!

  10. Lady, you changed my whole entire life and that of my whole entire family with this recipe.

  11. Sally, there is no link to your video tutorial – no way to get it to open. Can you provide a link in this field? Very much looking forward to trying your recipe!

    1. Hi Dawn, if you wait a second to load, the video pops up– just takes an extra second to load sometimes. And make sure you temporarily pause any ad blockers because they block my videos from appearing! (Video is also on my YouTube and Facebook.)

  12. I like my pizza crust to be a bit crispier than the one pictured on the video. Is there any way to do this?

    1. Hi Debbie! For a crispier crust, feel free to bake the pizza a little longer.

  13. I’m a 60 year old guy that decided to learn to bake. You do such a great job instructing that i have made this a half dozen times now and even my lifetime baker wife is impressed by this dough! Never had a problem, have made hot pockets as well and frozen the dough a couple of times and used later with no problems. Don’t skip the cornmeal, it’s a difference maker

  14. I’ve made this into a pizza and cheesy bread. Oh my goodness, it was amazing! This is my new go to recipe now.

  15. Can this dough be used in a cast iron skillet?

    1. Absolutely!

  16. I’m 66 years old, having cooked for a living since 1972. Many different cuisines, including Italian, but never got around to the pizza thing (which I LOVE). Researched many doughs, online and with friends in the business. Bottom line, YOURS is the base recipe from which I expound upon. The holy grail, ground zero, baseline! Thanks for publishing a notably GREAT recipe for dough, and giving me a basis, from which to work.

  17. Kate Morris-Furlotte says:

    I’ve tried a lot of pizza dough recipes, but this is officially my go-to as of today. I added a little roasted garlic, and it was fantastic.

  18. Kate Morris-Furlotte says:

    Also made it in a cast iron skillet for 12 minutes, it was perfect. Rave reviews.

  19. Barbara Rowell says:

    this is a perfect recipe. Every. single. time.
    Thank you!

  20. I just made this for a friend who wanted it to eat later tonight, but now will be eating earlier than originally planned. Did the all day method but it will only be in the fridge for 4 hours. Any tips? When to take out to let rise at room temp?

    1. Hi Michelle! You can take it out of the refrigerator any time to let it rise at room temperature and continue with the recipe.

  21. How long can you let the dough rise at room temp? I made my dough around 8 this morning and I plan to make the pizza for dinner. I have had the dough sitting on my kitchen counter, letting it rise since this morning. Is that ok?

    1. Hi Liz, The dough should rise about 60-90 minutes at room temperature. You can allow the dough to rise for 8-12 hours in the refrigerator. See recipe note #2 for details!

  22. Stacy Ferguson says:

    My first Pizza crust! It was so easy and my Family loved it! Thank you for the recipe..I will definitely be using it again.

  23. Great texture and flavor, easy to make, and best of all, a very forgiving recipe. I ended up using a tiny bit less yeast than the recipe called for, more flour (my dough was really sticky, probably due to humidity), let it rise a little longer than it was supposed to… All these little inaccuracies and it still turned out completely wonderful. Can’t wait to make it again–hopefully the right way next time! 🙂

  24. This was delicious! I made a different crust recipe a couple weeks ago but it didn’t have as much flavor. Love this and will use again!

  25. I’ve tried other pizza dough recipes but this recipe is the best. Delicious!

  26. Absolutely perfect. Delicious perfect crust.

  27. Best pizza dough I’ve ever made! We were going to order take out pizza tonight but I had the ingredients to make one at home and I’m SO glad I did. This crust is so pillowy and perfect, I will be writing it down in my recipe book tonight. Thank you!

  28. Hi there!
    We really like a loaded pizza with lots of ingredients and extra cheese. I think this would affect the cook time and possibly the temp. Do you have a recommendation? I have the dough on rising for our Friday night pizzas!

    1. Hi Deborah! The cook time will need to be longer so the dough underneath all the toppings can cook through. No need to change the oven temperature, though you could slightly lower it if desired.

  29. I made this dough last night and it was delicious! I’ve never made dough before, I let it rise for just over and hour and popped the second ball Into the fridge to eat for dinner tonight.

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe, Adrian!

  30. It’s 10:20 and I needed to make the dough before a meeting and I am letting it rise, can I put it in the fridge after that and take it out and make it or do I have to let it rise again when I make it at 5?

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